Politics and religion do not always mix well but an exception was made Thursday morning at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Booneville.
During his opening remarks at the 11th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, Jerry Wilkins noted the political scene in Logan County but afterward, in regard to himself, Wilkins insists he did not say what you might have thought he said.
"That shows you what the political scene is in Logan County," Wilkins said amidst the introduction of several candidates for Logan County Judge and Sheriff. "All these people are eating breakfast together. They’re running for office against each other but they’re eating breakfast together.
"That shows you how great it is in Logan County?"
At one point, Wilkins indicated the 11th prayer could be his last one — the mayor’s third four year term is up this year. Asked after the event if he was announcing he would not seek a fourth term, Wilkins said no.
"I didn’t mean it that way," said Wilkins. "I didn’t intend to say it. I haven’t ruled out running (again), completely. It’s about 80-20."
Exactly which way Wilkins did not say.
Wilkins closed his opening remarks with, "This is an election year I will continue to do anything I can to continue to have a prayer breakfast and continue to keep this community as good as it is."
It isn’t the first time Wilkins’ own political future was a part of the breakfast. In 2010 he hinted it would be difficult not to run for a third term if voters supported a one percent sales tax renewal, which they ultimately did.
Following the mayor’s remarks, breakfast speaker Hank Weaver addressed the power in words, and specifically prayer, but also joked everyone eating together Thursday was a tribute to the power of bacon.
As has been the case since its inception — Wilkins attributed the drive to create the event to Shirley Young — Thursday’s Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast was held on the National Day of Prayer.
The breakfast also mirrored the National Day of Prayer in terms of theme — one voice united in prayer — as well as verse, "So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," Romans 15:6.
In his second trip to the podium Wilkins presented citizen appreciation awards to Mel Brewster (individual), Oak Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (business) and Robert Herrera (volunteer).
Wilkins also became a little emotional when he announced a special memorial award for the late Jeral Hampton.